As part of a big project, I've been perusing the archives looking for gems in some old issues of the magazines. And naturally, I'm taking a special interest when the stories relate to baby names. Strangely enough, the recommendations haven't changed much in the past 70 years: Think ahead to whether the name will wear well on an adult. Watch out for bad pop culture references and embarrassing monograms. Don't pick a name that's tough to pronounce or spell.
One particular story caught my eye, from a 1964 issue. It described a set of "gender-neutral" names that they're saying would work for both boys and girls—for the parents too lazy to dream up two sets of names, back in the day before ultrasounds and gender reveal parties. They picked a name for just about every letter of the alphabet—excluding X—and they had some really intriguing choices. Would you consider any of these for your baby?
Cabot This cute name may be too closely associated with the cheese company to make it a serious contender for a baby name.
Favre I think people are going to think that you're a big Green Bay Packers fan if you pick this name, which brings to mind their legendary QB.
Gale Gale used to be a girly name—but Katniss's best bud Gale in Hunger Games may help this make a comeback among the boys.
Kimberly Kim did used to be a boys' name, but I'm thinking at this point, Kimberly is girls' only–it's still in the top 100 names for girls.
Leslie Alas, this one-time unisex name is now solely for ladies.
Mitchell I love Modern Family's Mitch enough to give this one my seal of approval—though not for the ladies.
Nolan This was one of my cool name of the week picks a few months back. Love the name, but not sure if it really works for a girl.
Olney This uncommon name is the name of a neighborhood in Philly and a town in Maryland. I'm wondering how this unusual moniker made their list, and not a name like Olive.
Paige This top 150 baby name is now strictly for the girls.
Quentin Quentin Tarantino has made this cool—but only for boys.
Reed You'll see this moniker, which means red-haired, more on boys, but it could be a cool crossover if you're game.
Trevor This name began its meteoric rise into the top 200 boys' names right after the article came out. Maybe our magazine helped spur that along?
Udine This is the name of an Italian city. It may be a little too offbeat, especially with so many websites named u-something (i.e. UPromise.com, etc.).
Vaughn This surname-name has barely held on to the top 1000 names for boys. The only one I do know personally is a girl, though.
Yule Unless you're having a Christmas baby, I'd probably skip this one.
Zale This would be an interesting choice, considering the red-hot "Z" and the popularity of names like Cale. But your child may find himself linked up with the chain of jewelry stores that bears this name.
Image: Baby in sunglasses by Everett Collection / Shutterstock.com